Packaging Your Brain: Martin Mosho

Media Watch: PCG and Becker

Zipcar Gains Momentum

Working From Your Deck Now Do-able

Corrections or additions?

These articles edited by Kathleen McGinn Spring were prepared for

the July 23, 2003 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

The Book Club That Tackles Business Titles

A quick look at Amazon.com’s list of best selling

business

books turns up some interesting titles. There’s "Moneyball: The

Art of Winning an Unfair Game," a book about the business of

baseball;

"Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others

Don’t," the title outselling all others this summer;

"Performance

and Personal Renewal" and "Execution: The Discipline of

Getting

Things Done," two books whose titles promise results in areas

high on every businessperson’s wish list; and, for anyone curious

about the more unsavory implications of making fat and salt pay big,

"Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal."

So many titles — including a new entry in the "Who Moved My

Cheese" series — and so little time.

"Reading business books is one of those things most of us put

off," says Kim Rowe. "We know we should read those business

books, but.." she says, letting her sentence trail off. Between

running a business or meeting deadlines on a job, making sure milk

finds its way to the refrigerator and the kids get a ride to camp,

there is not a whole lot of time left over for even the meatiest new

"Cheese" or "Fish" book. Especially when it has to

compete for space in the beach bag with the latest from Janet

Evanovich

or, for heaven’s sake, that big-as-a-bread-loaf must-read, "Harry

Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

For the past three years or so, the New Jersey Association of Women

Business Owners (NJAWBO) of Mercer County has been finding a way to

slip business titles into its busy members’ schedules. The

organization’s

book club, now run by Rowe, meets on Wednesday, July 30, at noon,

at Rowe’s home to discuss "Seven Secrets of Successful Women:

Success Strategies" by Donna Brook and Lynn Brooks. Anyone

interested

in joining the book club is urged to attend the free book club

meeting.

For directions and more information, call Rowe at 908-359-9665.

As of press time, Rowe had not yet read the new book club selection.

"I always read it in the last week," she says with a laugh.

Book clubs, it seems, retain elements of the classroom. Some members

get the book and read it right away, while others "cram" at

the last minute. A crammer, Rowe is also one of three partners in

Agentive Sales and Marketing Solutions, a company that designs and

conducts training sessions for employees of pharmaceutical and medical

device companies. Agentive, Rowe explains, is a virtual company. One

of her partners operates from Long Island and one is located in

Atlanta.

Rowe, a graduate of the University of West Virginia (Class of 1976),

got into the contract training business after stints in marketing

with C.R. Bard and with Bristol-Myers Squibb. She left the corporate

world when her daughter, now a teen-ager, was a baby. "I was

traveling

all the times," she recalls. The life was not a good fit with

her parental responsibilities, so she opted for the flexibility of

the entrepreneurial life, taking good wishes — and her first

contracts

— away with her when she left Bristol-Myers.

After working on her own for a number of years, she joined with her

partners, contacts she had retained from her life as an employee.

The trio most often conduct training for groups of salespeople, or

for groups of sales or marketing managers. The pharmas’ employees

spend a lot of money flying into a central location, says Rowe, and

contracting with a company, rather than with an individual, gives

them a level of comfort. If one of the partners has an emergency,

and can’t make it to the training session, another is always available

to fill in.

Summer is the slowest season for Rowe’s company. With fewer training

sessions to lead, the partners turn their attention to marketing.

"If you’re going to be successful in business," says Rowe,

"you have to sell." Like most business owners, she would

prefer

to concentrate on her area of expertise, but Rowe says 70 percent

of her time is spent marketing, and she suggests that a similar

percentage

is what it takes for many entrepreneurs to thrive. That is one reason

that one of her favorite NJAWBO book club reads was "Discover

Your Sales Strength." Another reason she likes it is that it was

written by Benson Smith, with whom she worked at Bard.

"Most of the people in the group had not been salespeople,"

she says of the NJAWBO book club. "But in their current role,

they have to sell. The book helped them to get over the stereotype

of salespeople as fast-talking, slick, sleazy types. They saw that

to be successful you don’t have to be like that."

The club meets four times a year. At the upcoming meeting, the club

will decide on its next four books, giving everyone plenty of time

to order and read them. "Everyone comes with suggestions,"

says Rowe. There tends to be lobbying, she says, with everyone pushing

for the finds they have turned up. Are there ever any hurt feelings?

"No," says Rowe, "everybody can deal with it." Often,

at least a couple of the choices are books a member has read, enjoyed,

and learned from. In book clubs, as in business, a personal

recommendation

carries a lot of weight.

Such an imprimatur also helps to cut through the

ever-mounting

Everest of business titles. Amazon.com lists 17 separate categories

of business titles, including biographies and primers, business life,

careers, economics, finance, international, investing, management

and leadership, marketing and sales, personal finance, and small

business

and entrepreneurship.

"There is a book or six for everything you can think of,"

says Rowe. "It’s hard to sort through what’s good for the

group."

Favorites, she says, tend to be "books you can really use."

A book the group put in that category is "Positioning: The Battle

for Your Mind" by Al Reis and Jack Trout.

"We had such a great discussion about that one," says Rowe

of the book about marketing. Another favorite, "Bold Women: Big

Ideas," a book about the venture capital industry by Kay

Koplovitz,

did not have the same teaching quality, but, nonetheless, Rowe says

the group found it to be a fascinating look at an important business

engine.

About 10 women show up for a typical meeting. "A core group of

six or eight are always there," says Rowe, "and two to four

come and go." The group finds noon, a time when many are getting

up to stretch anyway, a good time for the meetings. Everyone brings

a bag lunch, and the hostess provides dessert.

There has been discussion of holding the meetings at a fixed location,

possibly a restaurant or an office, but Rowe says that members, who

take turns hosting, enjoy visiting one another at home. The informal

ambiance lends itself to a secondary book club purpose, the

opportunity

for members to come to know one another better. Everyone is welcome

to attend a meeting to see if it is a good fit, but newcomers need

to join NJAWBO if they want to become book club members.

Rowe says she decided to take on the book club because it has been

her experience that pitching in at an organization is the best way

to reap the benefits of membership. She observes that the people who

come to the book club and to other NJAWBO events, and who volunteer

to work on committees or projects are the women whose businesses are

most the successful.

Surely that observation could be the seed of a business book. Maybe

"To Move Up, You’ve Got to Pitch In" or possibly

"Volunteer!

Ten Ways to Enrich Your Professional Organization — and Grow Your

Business"

Top Of Page
Packaging Your Brain: Martin Mosho

No matter how brilliant your great American novel or

wizardly software, no publisher is going to pry it out of your desk

drawer. And despite your unequaled sales, techie, or managerial

expertise,

the odds are slim that a Fortune 500 CEO will hammer at your door,

begging for the precious pearls of your consulting prowess. Like any

other commodity, expertise must be aggressively marketed or it rots

on the shelf. The successful consultants realize this; the other 90

percent never quite catch on.

For any entrepreneurs striving to push his consulting business into

that profitable 10 percent, Mercer County Community College offers

"Consulting Made Easy" on Wednesday, July 30, at 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $45. Register by calling 609-586-9446. The course is taught

by independent consultant and 40-year marketing veteran Martin

Mosho.

Following a boyhood in a Lower East Side tenement, and a move up and

out to the Bronx, Mosho earned his business administration B.A. from

Brooklyn College. In addition to the required curriculum, Mosho took

dozens of related night courses. "Your most helpful courses always

came in the evening," he says. "I had one advertising course

taught by the president of Seagrams. The information was fresh and

it was a great way to make contacts."

For Mosho, both the advice and the contacts worked. He began selling

ads for the New York Times, then the New York Post and Mademoiselle

Magazine. He later directed ad sales for U.S. News and World Report.

Branching out on his own, he bought a Snelling Personnel franchise,

and recruited executives. In addition to teaching, he now runs a

consulting

business, which specializes in sales and marketing techniques.

"Every consultant needs to be selling himself, more than his

skills,"

says Mosho. "And you need to be very aggressive about this

selling."

He has seen that consulting contracts consistently go to the

individual

with the sharpest sales technique, rather than the individual with

the greatest skill.

Slipping around the gate. "Most companies have very

effective gate keepers," notes Mosho. "These secretaries will

not switch you through to the director of personnel on a cold

call."

You must have that individual’s name, and they are unlikely to

disclose

it. Trade magazines and the Sunday newspapers are still your best

tools here. When you read that Mr. John Smith has just received a

promotion to vice-president of production, you have found both a name,

and an opportunity. New executives are less tied by loyalty to old

vendors. They are most often the ones seeking new clients and new

ideas and even new full time employees, Mosho points out.

A simple, short letter congratulating Mr. Smith on his new

appointment,

and listing very briefly your credentials is usually well received.

This should not be a sales letter, warns Mosho. Don’t overwhelm the

individual with the patter of your little feats. Merely greet him,

introduce yourself, and promise an upcoming phone call.

Phone follow-up. Re-introduce yourself and mention what

you are capable of doing. It may be a good idea to have parts of this

speech pre-scripted and teleprompting you on your computer screen

as you launch into the call. First, talk about yourself and your

capabilities,

but downplay his need for your service. "Your potential client

will decide if the need exists for your services," says Mosho.

Second, know that persistence pays. Being turned down once is not

a refusal forever. Keeping this customer on your active list and

re-calling

every half year should be part of your business process. For Mosho,

frequently the six or seventh phone call has proved the charm.

The personal visit. If a firm’s executive invites you

in for further discussion, value his time. Promise that your

appointment

will only run a set number of minutes; and keep the promise. Once

you get inside the door, strive above all to be a good listener.

"Listen

intently and find out this person’s problem. If you cannot solve

it,"

states Mosho, "thank him for his time and leave."

If indeed you can solve this company’s problem, you may inform the

interviewer that you can. You may even tease him with some of your

initial analysis plans. But do not spell out the solution. Not yet.

"It’s very easy to get your brains picked," laughs Mosho.

If you wrap up a client’s solution in a package and present it to

him upon first meeting, he’ll simply have no need to hire you.

The business end. Negotiating time and fees is a tightrope

at best. Price yourself too cheaply and you will be valued

accordingly.

Set too high a fee, and you may price yourself outside of the client’s

budget. Your best bet is to initially find what others in your field

are charging, and set yourself in the middle or upper-middle range.

In this buyer’s market for information specialists, you can almost

depend on a low ball client counteroffer. The statement "it’s

our company policy to pay consultants $350 a day" can be a

negotiating

ploy or a true fixed limit. At this point, you must choose. Is $350

a day fair value for your time? And if it isn’t, is the job still

worth taking, perhaps because you sense an opportunity to win a place

on staff that would suit you through the short-term assignment?

Once the new consultant wins business and negotiates his fees, he

must decide whether to retain an attorney and an accountant. Mosho

favors simplicity, yet he says that certain contracts require legal

review. "More and more businesses are getting fanatical about

non-disclosure agreements," he says. "Some outfits have

everyone

from top scientists to secretaries signing these things."

If you are developing a product for sale, such as software, your

client

will frequently require that any resultant patent is the property

of the company, or that you sign a non-compete agreement which would

keep that invention out of their competitors’ hands. However, if your

services are less tangible, for example offering managerial advice

or a sales production program, you may be able to protect your ideas

and methods by packaging them into set packages and copyrighting each

package.

Beyond direct client contact, Mosho suggests that consultants keep

their selling tentacles fully outstretched at all times. Publish and

selectively mail a newsletter. It can mention new clients, and provide

news and trends in the field. Giving talks at business gatherings,

including meetings of chambers of commerce, and teaching courses all

showcase your expertise and build a network of contacts. In an age

when over 5 million Americans are listing themselves as independent

consultants, the feeding frenzy for corporate dollars is frightening.

Successful consultants will be those who gain those precious

interviews

and keep their names circulating in the community.

— Bart Jackson

Top Of Page
Media Watch: PCG and Becker

Larry Krampf has just cut his commute. The founder of

the Princeton Communications Group has moved his offices from Nassau

Street to 112 Titus Mill Road in Pennington (609-818-9800; fax,

609-818-9213).

"It’s a mile and a half from my house," he says of the

company’s

new digs.

At the same time, Krampf, whose plans for expansion and a change of

scenery were derailed two years ago, has more big news. His company

has merged with Nancy Becker Associates, the Trenton-based lobbying

firm.

"She does lobbying and we do the creative side," says Krampf.

While the synergies between advertising and lobbying may not be

immediately

obvious, an example he throws out clears up the picture. "For

Capital Health," he says, "we came up with the branding and

we do the advertising." And when the healthcare organization needs

some legislative help, perhaps when it wants to expand into a new

area of medicine, which, in New Jersey, requires state approval, Nancy

Becker works to make it happen.

"We’ve been referring business back and forth for 15 years,"

says Krampf.

His outfit now has 33 employees, and Nancy Becker Associates has 8.

Nancy Becker will retain its Trenton office, and Krampf will have

a small office in the capital, too. Each company will keep its own

name.

Two summers ago, Princeton Communications was headed for the pool

— the outdoor swimming pool that comes with the unique, 1702

farmhouse/offices

at 88 Orchard Road in Skillman from which the American List Counsel

had just moved.

"Then 9/11 happened," says Krampf simply. Advertisers —

along with everyone else — became paralyzed, and he decided to

stay put while waiting to see what would happen next. "We had

made a down payment, but we wanted to hold back," he says. "We

saw the economy going down." Now the future — at least

temporarily

— looks more clear, and the availability of modern offices near

his home has given him the confidence to move forward.

Princeton Communications’ new offices contain 15,000 square feet of

Internet-ready space, about 6,000 more than the group was to have

used in the old farmhouse. (The remainder of Krampf’s 23,000

square-foot

building is occupied by Health Answers, formerly Hastings Healthcare

Group. Rob Lyszzarz of Re/Max Properties Unlimited on Route 206 has

purchased the farm property for $1.3 million.)

In addition to the lobbyists from Nancy Becker, the offices are home

to the staff of HR Innovator, a new human resources trade magazine

being published by a separate group, which is a partnership between

Krampf and Bill Corsini, who was most recently group publisher

of HR Executive magazine.

Corsini is the publisher and Matt Damsker the editor of the 66-page

glossy magazine. The May and June issues each have a dozen articles

(features and one-pagers) and a couple of dozen full page ads, ranging

from software to gift baskets. Their cover stories were interviews

with the HR directors of the Borgata casino and AMS, the IT consulting

firm. The June issue also featured the new Executive MBA program run

by former Bristol-Myers Squibb HR chief Charlie Tharp and Rutgers

professor Dick Beatty — and threw in an interview with Beatles

mentor Sir George Martin for good measure.

While he is enjoying all the easy parking and the short commute his

company’s move has brought, Krampf says he is not sure how long the

new space will contain his business. "It’s okay for a short

time,"

he says, "but we’re growing."

Media Watch: Oxford Communications

Bill Hartman has been named studio director of Oxford

Communications, a full-service advertising, public relations, and

graphic design firm with offices in Lambertville. In his new role,

Hartman manages the day-to-day operations of the department, where

he oversees eight artists.

A resident of Abington, Pennsylvania, Hartman, a Drexel alumnus, has

been with Oxford Communications for three years.

Top Of Page
Zipcar Gains Momentum

It’s spreading. The Zipcar phenomenon, after getting

a start at the Institute for Advanced Study, has crept up University

Place and into downtown Princeton. Soon to appear at every train

station

near you, the Zipcar is a car you don’t own, but that will open up

for you after you click your mouse a couple of times and then swipe

your plastic membership card through its EasyPass-like entry sensor.

The brainchild of two Cambridge, Massachusetts, entrepreneurs, who

saw the share-a-car concept at work during a trip to Berlin, Zipcar

promises to impart mobility minus the shackles of car ownership.

Marvin Reed, mayor of Princeton, first saw the Zipcar concept in

Europe,

too. Interested in promoting pedestrian-friendly downtowns, especially

in his own town, he was intrigued. Upon learning that Zipcar had come

to the Institute for Advanced Study, he contacted the company about

placing some of its cars in Princeton. Now a VW Beetle in a pale lime

green hangs out at the Dinky Station and a hybrid Matrix Maggie makes

its home in the parking garage at the corner of Hulfish and

Witherspoon.

Two more cars may soon join the first two Zipcars.

"There are people who live downtown who would like to do without

a car," says Reed. "They commute to New York, they don’t want

to be bothered with a car." Most of what anyone needs is within

walking distance in Princeton, he points out. A number of residents

just want a car for the occasional drive to Sam’s Club, to a movie

not playing at the Garden Theater, to the shore, or to visit a friend

in Pennington or Westfield.

Future residents of the 77 apartments being built near the new library

might well be interested in living a car-free life, Reed suggests.

"I would hope people wouldn’t feel they have to have an auto,"

he says. "It’s a win for the borough. Even if we encourage only

a dozen to live without a car."

Other possible Zipcar candidates are visitors arriving by train.

Instead

of driving to town because their final destination is not within

walking

distance, they could just zip into a Zipcar and be on their way. Reed

says that NJ Transit is in the process of adding Zipcars to its

commuter

lots.

"I think the students will use them too," says Reed. "You

have to be 21, but enough students are 21. And, of course, they are

great for graduate students."

"I don’t know that it’s a system you would have put in place 10

years ago," Reed continues. "It’s totally dependent on the

Internet. It’s all done electronically without human beings, unlike

a car (rental) agency, where you have to see an attendant."

This is how Zipcar works.

Become a member. To become a Zipcar member, fill out an

application at www.zipcar.com. There is a one-time application fee

of $30. Members choose between two plans. Under the monthly plan,

a credit card is billed $30 a month. The money is put into a Zipcar

bank, and drawn upon according to car usage at a rate of $8 an hour

or $65 to $85 a day. The money piles up if the car is not used much,

but it is nonrefundable. The alternative is to pay a $75 annual fee.

Reserve a car. To reserve a car for a particular day and

time, sign up online. "The car will be expecting you," Reed

explains. "Just swipe your card, and it opens." The only thing

expected of the driver, he adds, is that he fill the gas tank —

using a credit card found in the glove compartment — when it dips

to a quarter full.

Calculate savings. The zipcar website has a calculator

to help potential users decide if the signing up would be a money

saver. Plug in car payments, insurance payments, garage fees, gas

and maintenance costs, and typical number and duration of car trips

during a month, and it will tell you if you would save with a Zipcar.

Examples on the website are for people living in cities, where rates

are higher than they are in Princeton, but they give a good idea of

how the costs work out. In one example, Lauren, a Manhattan mother,

uses the car once a month for a two-day weekend trip. Her Zipcar costs

come to $203.85, a fraction of a the fee required just to park in

the city. In another example, Josefina, a Cambridge mother, uses a

Zipcar to run errands 17 times a month, averaging 4 to 12 miles on

each trip and taking 1 to 3 1/2 hours each time. Her monthly cost

is $128.52. In a third example, Gail, a Capitol Hill professional,

used the car to attend 16 meetings a month, traveling an average of

7 to 9 miles and spending 2 to 4 1/2 hours at each meeting. Her

monthly

cost is $328.76.

Tell your boss. There are a number of Princeton-area

workers

who arrive at their jobs via train. For many, the biggest drawback

to the arrangement is that they cannot get very far during the day,

whether to meet with a client, to run an errand, or to go out for

lunch. A Zipcar could make all the difference.

Corporations can get their very own Zipcars by paying a one-time

set-up

fee of $100, and an annual fee of $20 per driver, which comes with

$20 worth of driving time.

Zipcar thinks green, and its cars are small. While they are well

suited

to taking a couple to the movies or to a dinner party, the little

cars would not haul too many 24-packs of paper towels from Sam’s Club

or easily accommodate a family off on a ski trip. Still, as Mayor

Reed emphasizes, getting even a few cars out of the traffic mix is

a good thing. The very presence of a Zipcar option could cause a

number

of car-expense-weary Princeton residents to stop and wonder just how

much they really do need a car — or a second car, or a third car.

Top Of Page
Working From Your Deck Now Do-able

Sit on your deck with a laptop and connect to your

office?

It’s the latest thing in networking, says Scott O’Brien of O’Brien

Consulting Services (OCS).

O’Brien says interhouse wireless networking is a hot service ticket

these days: "People want to bring laptops home to work on a home

network, and because wireless has become inexpensive people have been

coming in droves." To hook up wirelessly to the Internet costs

just $400 for one laptop and one PC, including the hardware.

OCS installs a box with two antennas as a plug-in access point. Within

a range of several hundred feet you can then connect to either the

Internet or to your office computer over the Internet.

To connect directly to your office computer is easy but requires some

extra steps. First you need high speed access like DSL or cable and

a laptop that is wired for wireless. The B standard is the most

common,

but the newer G standard runs five times faster on the same frequency.

Then you get software such as PCAnywhere or the program built into

Windows 2000 to connect to your office computer over the Internet.

O’Brien just moved his home-based business from East Windsor to

Langhorne

but plans to open an office in East Windsor soon. A Rutgers graduate,

Class of 1996, he started doing Novell networking when he was in high

school and is also certified in Windows 2000. With six employees,

plus contract workers, he does general computer consulting but focuses

on hard-wired or wireless networks. His clients range from homeowners

to international firms (474 Blue Bell Avenue, Langhorne 19047.

215-757-9747;

fax, 215-757-9748. Home page: www.ocsconsulting.com

Caution: You may need multiple access points if your sightlines are

blocked by walls or stairs, or they are interrupted by environmental

variables such as fluorescent lighting. Environmental variables?

O’Brien

needed just one access point for an 8,000 square foot home made of

marble and wood, but a 1,000 square foot townhouse, plush with carpet

and draperies, required two.

— Barbara Fox

Corrections or additions?


This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Facebook Comments